The Brave New World of Digital Cities

In cities there will be 75 Billion of connected IoT devices by 2030. The availability of IoT real time data through data exchange hubs holds the promise of making our cities smarter, safer, cleaner and more efficient. These are objectives we all share as citizens – but we do not want to give up control over our personal data to achieve them. 

The question then is – how can IoT and Data Privacy be reconciled?

Blockchain and Data Access Control

The unexpected answer is – with Blockchain. Blockchain will empower citizens to control access to their IoT live data, significantly increasing their trust & willingness to collaborate in making cities a better place to live. 

Blockchain and Trust

Trust is difficult to obtain – and easy to destroy. That is especially evident when talking about transactions. Until today we had to rely on a centralized authority such as a bank as a transaction guarantor, but recent events have shaken our trust even in this most venerable institution. 

The solution then is to eliminate the need to trust any centralized governance body. Blockchain achieves this goal by allowing transactions to occur in a decentralized, ‘trustless’ environment.

Decentralised transaction governance

Blockchain is also known as ‘Decentralised Ledger Technology’. In fact the most innovative feature of Blockchain is the decentralization of transaction governance based on consensus algorithms. 

Such decentralisation provides two key benefits: first it makes all data recorded in the Ledger immutable; secondly it eliminates the need for a trusted centralised authority to control data persistence services – i.e. the Ledger – and contractual logics – i.e. the Smart Contracts.

Decentralisation and Digital Cities

The decentralized governance of contractual logics can play a key role in building Digital Cities: digitalised urban assets become sources of data streams that can be shared and monetized by citizens, companies and institutions thanks to Smart Contracts, in a trustless environment and in full compliance with Privacy Laws.

Blockchain enabled data access control: Ecosteer Data Ownership Platform

EcoSteer Data Ownership Platform provides the decentralised governance layer needed to share and monetize data streams in compliance with Privacy Laws. EcoSteer Data Ownership Platform uses Smart Contracts to establish a contractual relationship between Data Owners – individuals, companies and institutions that generate data streams from their IoT devices – and Data Users – companies and institutions looking to use such data streams. Within the Data Ownership Platform, Smart Contracts set the value of data streams – e.g. tokens/hour – and the rules for their usage.

Grant & Revoke data access to any third party

Thanks to the Data Ownership Platform, Data Owners can grant access to their data streams and revoke such access unilaterally, with no need to interact with either the technical source of a data stream – e.g. an energy meter or car telematics box – or the data streams exchange hub – i.e. a data broker. This key feature makes the Data Ownership Platform a completely retrofit solution, capable to work on top of any sensor and any data brokering platform.

Enabling a New Data Sharing Economy

Ecosteer Data Ownership Platform can disrupt traditional business models that link a data source to a single application and stakeholder, thus multiplying the value of data.

For example, imagine the possibility of decoupling meters and utilities, giving consumers full control on the choice – and change – of utility, together with the possibility of monetizing their data and choosing the stakeholders who will be able to access it. The same new paradigm can be applied to other devices, such as car telematics boxes: the driver would be free to choose and change her insurer, additionally choosing whether to share her data with other stakeholders – such as her employer, or a start-up developing a traffic management app – in full compliance with Privacy Laws.

Taking a broader view, every personal, corporate and public asset in a city could become a data streams producer, and these data streams could be sold to application developers, who would in turn sell their applications, who could in turn generate data streams that could be sold… in a virtuous circle that would lay the foundations for a new Data Sharing Economy

The Data Sharing Economy can create tremendous opportunities for those companies that will choose to disrupt obsolete business models. 
Let’s start building it together.

About Ecosteer

Ecosteer is an IoT and Blockchain software startup delivering advanced Data Monetization and Data Privacy. Our software converts devices into data streams that can be shared and tokenized under complete control of their owners, automating compliance with Privacy Laws.
Thanks to our data ownership platform, companies can now monetize and exchange customers’ data in compliance with Privacy Regulations for a rewarding user experience.

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